Friday, July 17, 2015

Week of July 17 - 23 (Rhoades)

Tropic Overview

Tropic Cinema Offers a Mix of Comedy and Coming-of-Age Films

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Film Critic, Cooke Communications

From awkward comedy to belly laughs, teen angst to preteen subconscious cerebration, Tropic Cinema presents an interesting range of onscreen choices this week.

Take “The Overnight,” for instance. This controversial film is a witty, twisty modern-day version of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” two couples thrown together for a get-to-know-each-other dinner … with more than pizza on the menu. Here mysterious dad Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and his French
pastry wife (Judith Godreche) play spider-to-the-fly with a new couple in town (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling). Minneapolis Star-Tribune says: “Written and directed by Patrick Brice with atypical wit, the film is uncensored and hilariously unpredictable, jumping from one titillating gag to the next with the grace of a tightrope walker.” And Deadline Hollywood Daily adds, “This new age suburban swingers comedy is very funny and enlightening.”

“Dope” is a gritty teen comedy set in the ‘hood. Smart-kid Malcolm (Shameik Moore) latches onto a stash of, well, dope and must figure out how to barter it for a hard-to-achieve Harvard education. says, “This dope coming-of-age comedy is about dopes and dope dealers, but it's
also a heartfelt and perceptive examination of cultural trends with style and energy to spare.” And Chicago Reader concludes it’s “never dull, and the ensemble cast is fun to watch.”

“Self/less” is a body-swap sci-fi story that moves from Ben Kinsley to Ryan Reynolds. The Message: Being inside someone else’s head (and body) is not all you’d expect. Reel Film Reviews calls it “Director Tarsem Singh's most accomplished (and entertaining) movie since his debut...” And Independent sees it as a “sleekly shot sci-fi thriller…”

“Spy” has Melissa McCarthy as a fish-out-of-water CIA agent who goofily goes after bad guys (with a little help from Jude Law and Jason Statham). Funnier than you’d expect. observes, “The ace partnership between filmmaker Paul Feig and actress Melissa McCarthy evolves into something formidable with this raucous action comedy, which simultaneously spoofs the espionage genre and provides some genuine thrills.” And Cinema Sight describes it as “a fun feminist spy comedy with wonderfully outlandish events and fascinating examinations of the genre.”

Pixar’s “Inside Out” is arguably an animation masterpiece. The fanciful storyline offers us an adventurous peek inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith give voice to her rampant emotions. Salt Lake Tribune calls it “Pixar's best movie in a decade…” And ABC Radio Brisbane tells us, “’Inside Out’ is a stunning achievement that blends creativity, humor and emotion. I'll be saving it a spot in my Top 10 list at year's end.”

Take your pick. Humor, thrills, cerebral, mindless -- it’s all here at the Tropic.

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